Can Ducks Fly?

can-ducks-fly Credit: katedaned/CC-BY 2.0

All adult ducks can fly with the exception of three species of streamer ducks in South America. Similar to their geese relatives, most ducks are migratory birds, flying from one mild climate to another in spring and autumn.

Many duck species fly in groups of 40 to 60 in a "V" shape. They can fly at speeds of 55 mph and altitudes of 9,000 feet. Newborn ducks, called ducklings, can't fly until they reach about 2 months of age due to lack of proper plumage and musculature. During periods of molting, ducks often have difficulty flying, leaving them especially vulnerable to predators. Ducks inhabit every continent except Antarctica, and each duck has a particular migratory route that it flies every year.